A study was made of the phylogenetic relationships between fifteen complete nucleotide sequences as well as 43 nucleotide sequences of the putative coat protein gene of different strains belonging to the virus species Beak and feather disease virus obtained from 39 individuals of 16 psittacine species. The species included among others, cockatoos ( Cacatuini ), African grey parrots ( Psittacus erithacus ) and peach-faced lovebirds ( Agapornis roseicollis ), which were infected at different geographical locations, within and outside Australia, the native origin of the virus. The derived amino acid sequences of the putative coat protein were highly diverse, with differences between some strains amounting to 50 of the 250 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the putative coat gene sequences form six clusters which show a varying degree of psittacine species specificity. Most, but not all strains infecting African grey parrots formed a single cluster as did the strains infecting the cockatoos. Strains infecting the lovebirds clustered with those infecting such Australasian species as Eclectus roratus , Psittacula kramerii and Psephotus haematogaster . Although individual birds included in this study were, where studied, often infected by closely related strains, infection by highly diverged trains was also detected. The possible relationship between BFD viral strains and clinical disease signs is discussed.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2004
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